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Número de publicaciónUS3655135 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación11 Abr 1972
Fecha de presentación29 Jun 1970
Fecha de prioridad29 Jun 1970
Número de publicaciónUS 3655135 A, US 3655135A, US-A-3655135, US3655135 A, US3655135A
InventoresAltman David, Altman Murray, Altman Seymour E
Cesionario originalThermasol Ltd
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Steam outlet head with a dispenser for a fragrance or medicant
US 3655135 A
Resumen
A steam outlet head is disclosed having inlet and outlet ports and a connecting interior channel for passage of steam through the head. A reservoir for a fragrance or medicant is positioned on top of the head and an orifice connects the reservoir with the channel to mix the fragrance or medicant with the steam passing through the head. The orifice is sized and positioned such that the flow of fragrance or medicant is effected substantially by the flow of steam through the head.
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United States Patent Altman et a1.

[54] STEAM OUTLET HEAD WITH A DISPENSER FOR A FRAGRANCE OR MEDICANT [72] Inventors: Murray Altman, Scarsdale; David Altman,

Bronx; Seymour E. Altman, Queens Village, all of N.Y.

[73] Assignee: Thermasol, Ltd.

[22] Filed: June 29, 1970 [21] App1.No.: 50,511

[52] U.S.Cl ..239/310,239/136, 239/316, 239/318, 239/521 [51] Int. Cl ..A62c 5/02, BOSb 7/26 [58] FieldoiSeai-ch ..239/310,314,315,316X,317, 239/318 X, 521 X, 523, 379, 135,136 X, 37, 434; 4/145, 146

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,220,730 3/1917 Costner ..239/310 2,714,531 8/1955 Kromer.....

[15] 3,655,135 [451 Apr. 11,1972

1,967,909 7/ 1934 Sonner ..239/317 X 2,619,385 11/1952 Simms ....239/317 X 2,743,913 5/1956 Gundlach..... ....239/315 X 3,066,362 12/1962 Merrigan ....239/136 X 3,079,093 2/1963 Bellows..... ..239/31 X 3,259,321 7/1966 Sellers ....239/316 X 3,367,580 2/1968 l-lronas et a1 ..239/314 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 691,265 4/1963 ltaly ..239/317 Primary Examiner-Lloyd King Attorney-Ryder & Hefter [5 7] ABSTRACT A steam outlet head is disclosed having inlet and outlet ports and a connecting interior channel for passage of steam through the head. A reservoir for a fragrance or medicant is positioned on top of the head and an orifice connects the reservoir with the channel to mix the fragrance or medicant with the steam passing through the head. The orifice is sized and positioned such that the flow of fragrance or medicant is effected substantially. by the flow of steam through the head.

8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures P51511155 A rill1,1972 3,555,135

muenfars Murray A/lman Dov/d Altman Seymour 5. A/fman Ryder 8 Hef/er Afforneys STEAM OUTLET I-IEAD WITH A DISPENSER FOR A FRAGRANCE OR MEDICANT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to steam bath equipment and, more particularly, to steam outlet devices which disperse a fragrance or medicant throughout a steam bath enclosure.

Steam bath installations have long been popular in health clubs, gymnasiums, and resorts. Recently, simple and efficient professional installation of compact steam units has made the steam bath available for use in homes, apartments and offices. Because of the compact design of equipment, conventional home bathtub and shower stall facilities can be adapted relatively inexpensively for use also as a steam bath. One example of this type of steam bath facility is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,007,178, issued to M. Altman et al., on Nov. 7, 196 1.

In a typical residential installation, the steam bath system has a compact steam generator which may be mounted in a closet, vanity, basement or in any other convenient space. In many modern bathroom installations, the enclosure for the steam bath may be formed by providing sliding doors from the edge of the bathtub to the ceiling. Steam, supplied by the steam generating unit, is transmitted by a pipeline to an outlet within the steam enclosure. A timing device or other switch may be provided to deactivate the steam generator without the need for the bather to leave the steam enclosure.

It is desirable in steam bath facilities to be able to disperse a fragrance or medicant with the steam throughout the enclosure. It is desirable also to disperse the steam and fragrance or medicant rapidly and evenly without tending to scald the bather. In the present invention a steam outlet device is provided for use with commercial and residential steam baths which is capable of dispersing a fragrance or medicant automatically with the steam in a steam bath in an even and rapid manner without scalding of the bather.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The steam outlet head of the present invention has a central body portion with inlet and outlet ports and a connection interior channel to provide for the passage of steam form a supply pipe to the interior of the steam enclosure. One or more supply outlet ports are positioned on the underside of the body and extend over a substantial portion of the underside, preferably an angle greater than 180, to permit steam to escape from the bottom and sides of the head. The outlet head is mounted near the floor of the enclosure and has a front face which directs the steam downwardly through the outlet port. Since steam rises once it has escaped from the outlet head the location of the head near the enclosure floor combined with the openings at the bottom and sides of the head provide for rapid and effective dispersement of the steam throughout the enclosure. The steam is directed away from the bather since it is initially forced downwardly through the outlet port. In addition, since the steam emerges from around the entire lower half of the outlet head and rises and surrounds the outlet head, the bather will not get near enough to touch the head accidentally and get burned on the hot metal body of the outlet head.

In accordance with the present invention, the top of the steam head has a reservoir in which a desired fragrance or medicant can be placed. The medicant may be helpful to restore free breathing by clearing blocked sinus passages. In general, the reservoir may be any size or shape which is suitable to hold the fragrance or medicant. The fragrance or medicant in the reservoir initially may be in the form of a gel rather than a liquid but the gel must be readily meltable by the heat from the steam head into a liquid.

In order to disperse the fragrance or medicant within the steam enclosure, an orifice is provided in the outlet head between the reservoir and the interior channel. The orifice is sufficiently small in size so that the liquid in the reservoir will not flow into the interior channel by the force of gravity alone.

When the steam is flowing through the outlet head, however, a reduced pressure on the interior of the channel combined with a capillary movement in the small orifice causes the liquid to be drawn through the orifice from the reservoir so that the liquid is dispersed within the steam in the outlet head. This dispersion is increased because of the generally turbulent flow of steam caused by the deflection of the steam downwardly through the outlet port. The steam and fragrance or medicant mixture is then rapidly dispersed throughout the steam enclosure by the normal movement of the expanding steam.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a conventional bathroom shower facility installed with a steam bath enclosure and the steam outlet head of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the first embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the first embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an end view of the first embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 shows a conventional residential steam bath enclosure installed in a typical modern bathroom shower facility. The enclosure is defined by the bathtub 10, the walls l2, l4 and 16, the ceiling l8 and the sliding doors 20 and 22. The enclosure has a conventional shower outlet 24 and, for convenience, may be supplied with a suitable seating device such as a bench 26. The enclosure shown in FIG. 1 is described for illustrative purposes only and it should be understood that use of the present steam outlet head is not limited to the type of enclosure shown.

A steam generating unit 30 is shown for simplicity of illustration hidden beneath the bathroom floor 32. Water is supplied to the generator 30 through water inlet 34 and steam is passed out of the generator through outlet 36. Steam is supplied to the steam enclosure by a conduit 38. A steam outlet head, such as the steam outlet head 40 of the present invention, is attached at the end of the steam conduit 38 on the wall 16 within the steam enclosure. Commonly, the outlet head is positioned near the bottom of the steam enclosure slightly above the bathtub 10 since steam will readily rise to fill the entire enclosure. An optional timer control 41 or other conventional switching devices may be electrically connected to the steam generator 30 to control the time when it is in operation. Steam generating units such as unit 30 are commercially available, such as from Thermasol, Ltd, New York, New York.

A first embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention, which may be used in the illustrative steam bath enclosure of FIG. 1, is shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5. The steam outlet head 40 has a body portion 42, an inlet port 44 and an outlet port 46. An interior channel 48 connects the inlet port 44 with the outlet port 46 to permit steam supplied to inlet port 44 from the supply conduit 38 to pass through the head and into the steam enclosure.

The outlet port 46 is positioned on the underside of the steam head 40 and has an opening that extends over a substantial portion of the lower side, preferably through an angle which exceeds to permit rapid distribution of steam within the enclosure. The outlet port 46 connects with the interior channel 48 to permit steam to escape from both the sides and from the bottom of the steam head. The body 42 has a front face 50 which deflects the steam in the channel 48 downward through the outlet port 46 so that the steam is directed away from the bather. Since the steam expands and rises when it leaves the outlet port, the entire outlet head will be surrounded with steam to prevent inadvertent burning of the bather by the hot metal body of the head.

The inlet port 44 preferably is cylindrical in cross section and has interior helical threads for ready mating with similar threads on the supply conduit 38. As shown in the drawings, the body portion 42 preferably has a hexagonal cross section which is readily engageable with a wrench to screw the outlet head onto the supply conduit 38. The cylindrical extension 52 at the rear of the body 42 provides for replacement of a washer shield between the rear face of the body 42 and the wall 16 to seal the opening in the wall through which the conduit enters the steam bath enclosure.

In the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and S, a reservoir 54 is formed by a recess in the top of the body 42. The reservoir 54 is suitable for holding a liquid, such as a desirable fragrance or a medicant that is beneficial for use during the steam bath. Preferably, the fragrance or medicant at room temperature is in the form of a gel. The heat of the steam outlet head 40 during the steam bath would then serve to melt the gel to form a liquid. A gel is preferable since it will not evaporate, be diluted by shower water or otherwise wasted when the steam outlet head is not in use.

An orifice 56 connects the bottom of the reservoir 54 with the interior channel 48. The orifice 56 is provided to transfer the liquid fragrance or medicant in the reservoir 54 to the interior chamber 48 where it mixes with the steam and is carried out through the outlet port 46. Since the liquid will be mixed directly with the steam in the channel 48, it will be dispersed quickly and effectively with the steam throughout the enclosure. The orifice 56 is small enough so that the liquid in the reservoir 54 will not flow by gravity alone into the chamber 48. When the steam head is in use, however, the steam pressure within the channel 48 is such that the liquid is drawn through the orifice 56 and into the chamber to mix with the steam. In order for the liquid to be drawn through the orifice 56 the pressure within the channel 48 should be lower than the atmospheric pressure on the reservoir 54. The steam supply conditions and the diameter of the channel 48 are chosen such that the pressure drop across the orifice 56 is sufficient to draw the liquid through the orifice at the desired rate. The steam traveling through the channel 48 moves at a relatively high velocity and escapes rapidly out of the outlet port 46. The combined effect of the low supply pressure and relatively high velocity of the steam insures that the liquid is drawn into the channel 48 for direct mixture with the steam. Furthermore, by capillary action, the liquid is exposed to the flowing steam and evaporates into the steam.

It may be noted that some evaporation of the liquid in the reservoir directly into the steam enclosure will take place because of the heat of the outlet head. This added effect is desirable to increase the dispersion of the fragrance or medicant within the enclosure. The primary cause of the dispersion, however, is the direct mixture within the channel 48 through orifice 56.

As shown in the drawings, the orifice 56 is positioned toward the inlet port 44 at the rear of the steam head so that the liquid has time to mix fully with the steam before it is forced out of the outlet port 46. The mixture of the liquid with the steam is enhanced by the fact that the flow of steam near the outlet port 46 will be turbulent because the face 50 forces the steam to change direction abruptly and move downwardly out of the outlet port 46. In addition, positioning the orifice 56 toward the rear and away from the outlet port maximizes the effect of the pressure drop across the orifice 56 due to the higher velocity of the steam within the channel 48 away from the outlet port.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, as shown most clearly in FIG. 3, the orifice 56 is inclined at an angle from the vertical toward the outlet port 46 and away from the inlet port 44 in the channel 48. The inclined orifice helps to prevent steam from dynamically entering the orifice 56 and preventing the liquid form flowing into the channel 48.

It has been found that the orifice 56 may have a diameter between 0.03125 and 0.04125 inch to prevent any substantial flow of liquid from the reservoir by the force of gravity alone while providing for a sufficient rate of flow of liquid when the outlet head is in use. In addition, with a supply pressure of 0.125 p.s.i.g. the channel 48 may have a diameter of 0.500 inch to provide the proper differential pressure at the orifice 56 for the transfer of liquid from the reservoir 54 when the outlet head is in use.

An alternative embodiment of the steam outlet head of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6. The outlet head 60, shown in FIG. 6, is identical to the steam head 40, shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5, except that a reservoir wall 62 is added around the reservoir formed at the top of the head and, in place of a single outlet port 46, a plurality of outlet ports 64 are positioned around the lower portion of the head. The reservoir wall 62 increases the effective capacity of the reservoir so that a greater amount of liquid fragrance or medicant may be stored in the reservoir without the need for refilling the reservoir at relatively frequent intervals. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 with the large reservoir is, therefore, more suitable for relatively large commercial steam bath installations wherein the steam head has more continuous use and serves a greater volume.

As may be appreciated from the discussions above, the steam outlet head of the present invention provides a simple and efficient method for dispersing a fragrance or medicant within both residential and commercial steam bath enclosures without the need for moveable parts or other complicated apparatus. Since the fragrance or medicant is mixed directly with the steam, it is quickly and efficiently dispersed throughout the steam bath enclosure. In addition, since the steam outlet head has an outlet port or ports that extend over a wide angle, the steam with the fragrance or medicant is also dispersed relatively evenly throughout the enclosure so that the desired effect is produced evenly and rapidly.

What is claimed is:

1. For use with a steam generating unit for supplying steam to a steam bath enclosure, a steam outlet head for dispersing steam and a fragrant or medicant substance comprising a body having an inlet port and a downwardly directed outlet port, the inlet port being adapted to receive steam from the steam generating unit, a channel connecting said ports for passage of steam through said body, a front face on the outlet side of said body forming an abutment aligned with said channel, a reservoir for said substance on said body and in heat exchange therewith, the reservoir being exposed to the surrounding atmosphere, an orifice connecting said reservoir with said channel for passage of said substance form the reservoir to the channel for mixture with and dispersion by said steam, the orifice having a size which precludes passage of the substance through the orifice by gravity, the channel size and steam supply providing a steam velocity adjacent the orifice to effect passage of the substance through the orifice to the channel.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said orifice has a first end at said reservoir and a second end at said channel, said second end being displaced longitudinally with respect to said first end in the direction flow of steam through said channel.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said orifice is positioned toward said inlet port.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said outlet port has an opening extending over an angle of at least 5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said reservoir is a recess formed in the top of said body.

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said reservoir includes a reservoir wall extending above the top of said body.

7. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said orifice has a diameter between 0.03125 and 0.04125 inch.

8. Apparatus in accordance with claim 7 wherein said supply pressure is approximately 0.125 p.s.i.g. and wherein said interior channel has a diameter of about 0.500 inch.

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Citada por
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.239/310, 239/521, 239/136, 239/318, 239/316
Clasificación internacionalA61H33/04, A47K5/00, E03C1/04, A47K17/00, E03C1/046, A61H33/06, A47K5/12
Clasificación cooperativaA61H2033/044, A47K5/12, A61H33/063, E03C1/046, A47K17/00
Clasificación europeaA47K5/12, E03C1/046, A61H33/06H, A47K17/00
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
5 Ene 1982AS06Security interest
Owner name: CHASE MANHATTAN BANK (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION) THE
Effective date: 19811005
Owner name: THERMASOL, LIMITED
5 Ene 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: CHASE MANHATTAN BANK (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION) THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:THERMASOL, LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:003939/0215
Effective date: 19811005